It took me a while to write this one due to the servers being overcrowded for an hour but after pressing the “Refresh” Button a few times It finally let me watch the Episode. 😉
And once again, Spoilers…
Picking up where Season 3 Episode 1 left off (my updated review of that can be found Here.) Team JNPR are now up against a Rival Team at the Vytal festival Tournament Team “BRNZ” (Bronze) which starts out pretty fast and shockingly one a BRNZ fighter named Brawnz Ni charges toward Phyrra with his claw-glove weapons only to be smacked by her shield while another Brnz member named May Zedong has a Sniper Rifle hiding in the tree’s of the artificial forest with an unfair advantage before Jaune tells his team to cover behind some rocks in the mountain/forest tournament backdrop they’re fighting in and they proceed to spread out. You’d think the Tournament would be against guns due to the possibility to murder but then we wouldn’t have spectacular fight scenes. 😛
As Ren is briefly stopped by a BRNZ Fighter named Nolan Porfirio who fight’s with an Electrical Stun-Baton weapon, It surprisingly doesn’t work on Nora since her Semblance power is finally revealed in which the commentators Port & Oobleck explain that she’s a living conduit of electrical power absorbing the stun-baton’s electrical energy and forcing back into her hits and weapons. I found the scene kinda funny as the Commentator’s unintentionally distracted Nolan before Nora knocks him flying into a large rock in the scenery. (Not very subtle on the Norse Mythology references since her primary weapon is a modified Large Hammer and the last name Valkyrie. lol)
Jaune finally puts his leadership skills to action as he tells Nora to get to the mountain as a Thunderstorm is brewing in the tournament scenery, He then Tells Ren to Distract May in the Tree’s in which Ren says “Sure why not!” in such a sarcastic dead-pan tone (lol) and Jaune & Phyrra both run towards BRNZ member Roy Stallion who battles with circular saw-blade/boomerang weapons as Nora comically hops up in the mountain to where the thunder is brewing which adds alot of tension & suspense as Ren Restrains Nolan and uses him as a human-shield to prevent May from getting a clear shot below while Jaune & Phyrra prevent May from shooting Nora at the mountain and Phyrra quickly jumps up and uses her shield to block the sniper bullet as Nora finally gets to the storming mountain top and absorbs a lightning bolt before firing her Grenade launcher towards May with a heart-shaped pink energy blast. (I couldn’t make this up if I tried.) which misses her but starts a small forest fire motivating May to jump out of the tree’s.
Jaune tries to use Team-Attacks/Formation-Attacks like Team RWBY did in Season 2 (which were hilariously named after “Shipping names” from the RWBY Fan Community) and get mildly distracted as the rest of Jaune’s team isn’t sure how to use the team-attacks which leads to a comedic scene of them briefly stopping while the rival team is wondering what’s taking so long until Phyrra reminds Jaune they’re live before a crowd of people and in response to this, Jaune cuts his losses and says “Nora, Just hit’em with a hammer” which Nora responds with glee by knocking them out of the ring with one hammer-swing and Team JNPR wins by Knockout. (Damn!)
We cut to a comically pun-titled Tavern called “Crow-Bar” which briefly introduces the audience to Ruby & Yang’s most talked about Uncle Qrow Branwen voiced by Vic Mignogna. (For the Full Metal Alchemist Fans out there, he voiced Edward Elric in the English Dub.) as he casually drinks while watching the Tournament coverage at the TV Bar and speaks with a gravely tone that sounds like a combination between Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop and Christian Bale’s Batman. (Very different than his previous performances.)
Cutting back to Oobleck & Port talking about the next battle between an All-Woman Team from “Shade Academy” called NDGO (Prounced Indigo) vs Team SSSN (Pronounced Team Sun which has Sun Wukong & Neptune from Season 2.) with a lot of comedic moments of audience members waving pictures of their favorite SSSN Teammates with one of them having a picture of Sun’s muscular chest alone with a heart drawn it. (WTF? lol) And a guy holding an Image of Scarlet David from SSSN’s team with pink hearts surrounding him revealing something I think is quite subtle in the world of RWBY, LGBT Characters could possibly exist! (I can see the Fan-Fiction/Shipping Bastards conjuring up terrible ideas right now. lol)
As the fight begins, Weiss at first cheer’s Neptune on before Neptune tries to use his charm on them which in a matter of seconds puts Weiss in a fit of jealousy and tells Team NDGO to “Break his stupid face” in an exaggerated comedic fashion, if he was flirting with Team NDGO just to make Weiss jealous then he most likely succeeded beyond measure but Team NDGO is left mildly annoyed.
The Tournament’s backdrop changes one half to the desert mountains and the other half to an Oceanic/Oasis Backdrop with a what looks like a pirate ship in the background while Neptune freezes up with a sense of Dread which I think the was to purposely inject some comedic irony for Neptune being afraid of water, considering he’s based on Poseidon and fight’s with a Fucking Trident!
Neptune cartoonishly runs up to higher ground in the mountains leaving his teammates to fend off against NDGO whom during battle reveal their powers to the audience with an NDGO member named Dew Gayl revealing her ability to create small tornado’s to knock one of the Teammates out of the ring while Neptune finally show’s some balls and briefly distract’s NDGO’s Redheaded member named Octavia and Sun in that moment Immediately Begin’s the match by giving Octavia one of the most painful kicks to the face I’ve ever seen. (Ouch!)
It’s now down to 3-on-3 with Scarlet, Sun and Neptune Vs what’s left of NDGO and Scarlet jumps up on the Pirate ship up against another NDGO member named Nebula who has a Crossbow that turns into a Sword and gets into a swashbuckling sword fight with Scarlet that’s quite entertaining with most of the team (Except for Neptune) in the Oasis half and another NDGO member named Gwen reveals to have Diamond-Shaped Daggers hidden in her skirt that comically almost kills Scarlet and Sun indirectly gets Scarlet knocked out of a ring with a Coconut that was intended to knock the rival team out but is deflected and hits Scarlet complete with a Nut-Shot Joke with Sun & Neptune being the last two left of Team SSSN and Dew Gayl starts making water-maelstrom’s attempting to take down Sun but Neptune shoots one of them from a distance in which all 3 remaining NDGO members for some reason all jump into the water part of the Oasis but proceed to just stay there instead of running towards them or even attacking them, Why did they jump in the water!? For a cool fight pose!? Sun finally encourages Neptune to help and he “Twinkle-toes” his way to the water and stabs his Electrical Trident weapon that doubles as a gun in the water which cartoonishly electrocutes all 3 of them winning the match and helps Team SSSN move to the “Doubles Round.”
We cut-Back to Qrow taking one last gulp of his drink noticing a white aircraft pass and proceed’s to leave the bar a bit tipsy and pays off his drink before leaving. At the same time this is going on, The Tournament takes an Intermission and that same large white aircraft fly’s towards by the Coliseum and Weiss Immediately recognizes and freezes up with excitement and utter’s the words “She’s here!” (In which the audience is left to assume is Weiss’s Sister “Winter Schnee” who was briefly mentioned in Season 2) and then it cuts to black.
Despite the new story developments like the big reveal of Nora’s Semblance Powers for the first time and Neptune being afraid of water which is quite comical, The Battles are alittle lackluster and shared some comedic moments while being somewhat repetitive. I mean no disrespect to the fans or the creators but arguably there needs to be more development of the opposing teams like how team BRNZ waited around to get defeated and the NDGO team at the end did almost the same thing as they just stood around in the water waiting for Neptune to Fucking Zap them. There is no doubt that team NDGO should have won. However the fight choreography is still great, just a teeny choppy in some places. If I’m being honest some of the non-arena scenes have been the glue for this season so far but I still love seeing the team-dynamics in the fights too.